Tipping Etiquette at the Casino
Today’s question comes in from Caudia B who asks, “Do you tip slot attendants when they pay you for a pay out, and how much?..from parking and anything in between”
It’s a question I get a lot and so I’ll give you my opinion – but it in no way is ‘the standard’, if there is one. Keep in mind that everyone has their own idea of how much to tip for everything in life; at restaurants, in a taxi, at the hair dresser etc.
Let’s start with Drink Service.
I recommend tipping what you would normally feel comfortable giving at a normal service bar. When I order a bottle of beer or a whisky, I usually give a dollar or two per drink. In Vegas Casinos, you get free drinks while you’re playing. The minimum you should tip is $1 per drink. If you ask for a beer and a bottle of water, then tip $2. (For some reason, when I order a cocktail, I tip $2 because I feel more time was put into creating it.) And just like when you’re at your local pub and it’s your favorite bar tender working; or if they’re generous and bring you an extra shot; or remember your drink order – then perhaps give them more! I usually give $5 a drink to those servers. If you’re ‘buying’ drinks for 3 people, then you can shoot them $10. You can be sure that the more you tip, the better and more frequent service you receive. I have some friends that religiously give $20 – and boy is our service (and drinks!) superior!
Getting a Hand Pay (a jackpot paid out in cash, generally over $1,200) is another bird all together. At this point it’s less about the action of paying you out and more about the overall experience in the casino. My rule is to offer $20 a hand pay OR 1%, whichever is more. Now I get it, 1% sounds soooo cheap, but believe me, it’s generous. Let’s have a look…
$1,200 Hand Pay = $20 tip
$2,000 Hand Pay = $20 tip
$5,000 Hand Pay = $50 tip
$10,000 Hand Pay = $100 tip
Every gambler knows that you lose more money than you win in the long run on slots. That’s why I feel these numbers are appropriate. You know that it cost you a LOT more than $10,000 to win that amount. I can also attest that as a bartender for almost a decade, I never once received a $100 tip (and I was an awesome bartender!)– so again, that’s where I see it being generous.
*Pro Tip (pun intended)
When tipping the attendant, it’s always a good idea to ask the people paying you if they share the tips or if it just goes to them. If there are two people helping you, and they keep their own tips, then you can split the tip between them. Otherwise, you can rest assured knowing they will put it in a shared ‘tip jar’ in the back (they have to, there are cameras on them!).
As an aside, I often get criticized in my videos for not tipping out the attendants on my own or during group pulls. You can rest assured I always do, it’s just not the focus of my videos. For group pulls, I prefer to wait until the end when I can easily divide the money up equally amongst the group and give a generous tip.
I’ve also been asked how much to tip Valet. It’s totally up to the person and their budget. I used to tip $2 back when I was younger, but these days I now do $5-$10 depending on service. Again, from the time they go to get your car, to the time it is delivered – you’re probably looking at 10 minutes of service. What is that worth to you?
To some of you reading, I’m a cheap bum – and to others, I’m very generous. I don’t think it’s the amount of tip that is most important, but rather the gesture. But what I’m most interested is where you stand. How much do you think is appropriate? Let me know on Facebook.
And if you want to see a time when I gave a couple hundred dollars in tips, then you’ll enjoy watching my $10,000 win LIVE at Seneca! (I gave $200 because of the extra service I received).
Brian Christopher is a popular YouTube Star specializing in Slot Machine Gambling Videos